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  • "
    Melvyn The Milk wrote:
    You should care. As a non-townie like myself, rugby is dying outside of the metropoles. No funding, Premier League football and the attraction of other sports are just some of the causes. Do you want to have the option of Newport RFC or nothing?
    That's not to say I don't agree with you on the rest.

    I still maintain the WRU are focusing to a detrimental degree on a) paying off the MS debt at a rate the equity doesn't demand, and b) is focused on the acquisition of power and control before anything that might be deemed as benefiting the game itself.

    I still maintain a separation of pro-rugby from the community game, a restructuring of the WRU governance process and clear red water between pro rugby and administration of the national game could see the resurrection of at least a six-club pro set-up, and infrastructural investment (no wages / boot money) in the lower leagues to rejuvenate enthusiasm. But that would require a (relative) revolution and certain turkeys voting for Christmas.

    I want a Newport stand-alone, but I want to see that team play in derbies I care about. And that means resurrecting more than one of the outfits that's fallen by the wayside. The obvious contenders - sorry to the rest - would be Pontypridd and Bridgend.

    Its about time the game was put before profit.

    One other thought. Require Team Wales 'fans' to produce three regional / club stubs for tickets before they are permitted to purchase 6 Nations / Autumn Test rugby. That should help increase the revenues so dearly sought."
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Ebbw Vale experiment shelved while Newport Gwent Dragons canvass opinion on region's future

First published in Sport

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons have put plans to play a game in Ebbw Vale next season on the back burner while they conduct some detailed market research into the future of the region, writes Chris Kirwan.

For the second successive campaign the Dragons explored the possibility of playing an LV= Cup encounter at Eugene Cross Park but have decided to stick at Rodney Parade.

The region release details about 2013/14 season tickets today and don't believe it would be fair to make a decision about playing north of the M4 before canvassing the opinion of punters.

They did explore the possibility of leaving an Anglo-Welsh Cup game off the season ticket, making it an all-pay affair at a venue to be confirmed.

However, the board have opted to hold fire while conducting market research into what direction the region should go in.

It comes after the debacle over a new logo when a web vote was aborted after just 16 hours because of a feisty reaction from those that wanted a heavier Newport emphasis and those that want to be known simply as the Dragons.

"We have no data on anything and that is a weakness of the business," admitted chief executive Gareth Davies. "Over time decisions have been taken – or not been taken – on gut feeling.

"In the next few months we will get proper evidence and conduct proper market research into what people want."

Meanwhile, Davies is encouraged that Welsh Rugby Union chairman David Pickering expressed his wish to support the regions.

The Dragons boss had previously questioned whether the governing body wanted Newport Gwent Dragons, the Ospreys, Scarlets and Cardiff Blues to succeed.

Regional Rugby Wales are yet to agree on a new participation agreement with the current deal expiring at the end of June.

"I'd like to think that David sees this opportunity and this situation as being critical for the future," said Davies. "I'm delighted to have heard him come out with supportive comments."

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